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Erin Burnett Outfront

Defense Rests In Kyle Rittenhouse Trial After Calling 10 Witnesses, Including Tearful Testimony By Rittenhouse; Testimony Concludes In Kyle Rittenhouse Trial; Closing Arguments Scheduled For Monday; Jan 6 Committee Threatens To Hold Mark Meadows In Contempt; Report: Top CEO Doesn't Think U.S. Is Ready To Fight Inflation; Biden Vows To Slow Inflation With Spending Bill: "It's Worrisome"; McConnell Says He Will Not Attend Infrastructure Bill Signing; Jan. 6 Rioter Says He May Seek Asylum In Belarus. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired November 11, 2021 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: We are so grateful.

And to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, the defense resting in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse and the teen's attorneys wrapping up their case with a witness who backed up Rittenhouse's tearful testimony.

Plus, a temporary win for Trump, federal appeals court granting the former President's request to keep hundreds of pages of documents from the January 6 Select Committee, so what now?

And the backlash building over Biden's handling of surging consumer prices. One top CEO now reportedly taking the White House to task. Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, the defense rests. Lawyers for Kyle Rittenhouse and the prosecution now preparing to go before the jury to make their closing arguments. For eight days, witnesses describe the night that Rittenhouse shot three people, killing two of them, during protests on the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The now 18-year-old testified he was acting in self-defense during emotionally charged testimony yesterday. And the defense wrapped up their case today with the use of force expert and a right-wing commentator who had captured one of the shootings on video.

That witness describing in detail what he saw in the moments before Rittenhouse shot Joseph Rosenbaum four times.


DREW HERNANDEZ, WITNESS: Kyle Rittenhouse came out of Car Source too and he attempted to deescalate the situation. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you see Mr. Rosenbaum do anything that kind of

drew your attention after what we saw?

HERNANDEZ: Absolutely. He led the charge into the gas station. He was getting physically aggressive.


BURNETT: Rittenhouse faces homicide charges for the killing of two men and attempted homicide for shooting a third.

Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT live. She's in Kenosha tonight and you were in the courthouse today of course as well, Kyung. So it's been a dramatic two weeks of testimony and here we are right up against closing arguments. What can we expect?

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR U.S. CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know the timing now of when these closing arguments will begin. The judge says that they will start on Monday. Court will be in session tomorrow but it will be largely procedural without the jury.

Once the jury gets this case after those closing arguments, they will begin deliberations trying to reach a verdict that will be very closely watched.



JUDGE BRUCE SCHROEDER, KENOSHA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT: We're in the final stretch. Enjoy the weekend and ...


LAH(voice over): With that closing arguments are now set for Monday, testimony ended in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse. Eight days of testimony with 31 witnesses. The last day of testimony ending as it did through much of the trial, leaning on video from that night.

The first victim shot by Rittenhouse, Joseph Rosenbaum, seen here in the red T-shirt. Rosenbaum was among the protesters in Kenosha days and nights of unrest after police shot Jacob Blake. Rosenbaum would collide with an armed Rittenhouse.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Raise your right hand, please.


LAH(voice over): This video was taken by defense witness Drew Hernandez who described Rosenbaum this way.


HERNANDEZ: Rosenbaum was charging Kyle Rittenhouse from behind, hear and saw it in real time. And Rosenbaum is lunging towards him very clearly and Kyle fires.


LAH(voice over): The defense's goal by showing what led up to the shootings is to boost Rittenhouse's self-defense claims, that the then-17-year-old was cornered and feared for his life. He's pleaded not guilty.

A moment his lawyers hope humanize the defendant who faces a potential life sentence. But the third man shot by Rittenhouse, Gaige Grosskreutz, whose bicep was blown off by Rittenhouse's bullet says he didn't see an emotional man on the stand.


GAIGE GROSSKREUTZ: To me it seemed like a child who had just gotten caught doing something that he wasn't supposed to, more upset that he was caught and less upset about what he had done and what he had taken and the numerous lives that he affected through his actions that night.


LAH(voice over): The eight-day trial was wrought with tension not just from the witnesses, but between Judge Bruce Schroeder and Prosecutor Thomas Binger after the judge lashed out yesterday.




LAH(voice over): Another testy exchange.


THOMAS BINGER, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Yesterday, as I said, I was under the court's ire.

SCHROEDER: I don't want to talk about - why don't we just ...

BINGER: Well, I think it's a fundamental fairness issue, Your Honor.

SCHROEDER: All right. Say what you want to say.

BINGER: If I'm being held to obey the court's orders, I'm asking that the defense be held to that too.

SCHROEDER: I was talking yesterday about the Constitution of the United States and how the Supreme Court has interpreted it for 50 years.


LAH(voice over): But the Rittenhouse trial is most noteworthy for being a flashpoint in a battle far beyond Kenosha.


Hernandez was just one of the many capturing the events on the Kenosha Street. He's an Arizona-based commentator who works for far right-wing outlet, Real America Voice and post frequently on social media.


HERNANDEZ: Black Lives Matter is a Marxist organization.


LAH(voice over): Hernandez testified he was in Kenosha to track antifa and BLM when the shootings happened.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you ever posted anything on social media?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In support of Kyle Rittenhouse?

HERNANDEZ: One could argue, yes.



LAH(on camera): Now, we did get a last minute twist from prosecutors. They said that they intend to ask the judge to submit lesser included charges to be submitted to the jury. A decision on that, Erin, has not yet been finalized. Erin?

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Kyung. And I want to go now to Areva Martin, Civil Rights Attorney and our Legal Analyst and Paul Martin, Criminal Defense Attorney and former prosecutor. So thanks so much to both of you.

Paul, let me start with you. So here we are eight days of this trial that has really riveted the country. The defense has now arrested. Who do you think has the advantage heading into closing arguments?


BURNETT: Oh, okay. So Areva, let me give that question to you and we'll see if we can get Paul's audio fixed. Who do you think has the advantage, Areva?

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the defense definitely had a good day today with respect to the use of force expert, Erin. That expert was able to establish that Kyle fired his weapon after attacks were made on him and then you saw the piece with Drew Hernandez, the former police officer who was there, although I think the prosecution did a good job of showing that he was biased.

He also confirmed for the defense that Mr. Rosenbaum attacked Kyle Rittenhouse. So the defense has had, I think, some good days and today was one of those days. However, I think the prosecution has created some reasonable doubt about whether Kyle Rittenhouse acted reasonably with respect to the use of force shooting, not just two people but firing his gun at four people and obviously killing two and wounding one.

BURNETT: So Paul, you got now both sides agreeing to delay the closing arguments until Monday, which is interesting. Court's in session tomorrow, but it's going to be mostly procedural. They could have pushed ahead. The judge had certainly indicated that he would have liked that. But yet they both agreed to let this go till Monday, which means they both think that the delay, the jury marinating all over all this is good for them. Who benefits from this delay? Which side do you think?

P MARTIN: Well, in this case, I think the prosecution benefits by having the delay. I've been less impressed by the presentation of evidence by the defense as the falling or the sinking of the prosecution. And I think this extra day will give the prosecution an opportunity to pull some things together and come up with their strongest arguments to present to the jury on Monday.

BURNETT: Interesting. It's been more of their failure than the other side's success, so this time would help them.

All right. So Areva, the defense's big witness, as you mentioned, was that use of force expert today. He recounted the night's activities based upon analysis from video taken that night. The witness confirmed the amount of time that passed from Rittenhouse his first shot against Rosenbaum to the last shots against Grosskreutz. Let me just play this for you.


BINGER: Can you tell us the amount of time that passes between the first shot, observation number eight, to Joseph Rosenbaum and the final shot to Mr. Grosskreutz?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Approximately one minute and 20 seconds.


BURNETT: Okay. Areva, why was this witness so important to the defense?

A MARTIN: Important for a couple of reasons, Erin. One, again, establishing the time and establishing that Kyle only fired his weapon after he was attacked by the two people that he killed and then the one person that he injured. And also the quickness of which Kyle was acting.

The defense wants this to be a very chaotic scene. They want the jurors to understand that Kyle was acting very quickly, because he was under attack by Mr. Rosenbaum, by Mr. Huber and then by Mr. Grosskreutz. So this witness puts the jurors in that situation, in that very chaotic scene, I was having to act very quickly.

P MARTIN: I'll also add to that this witness corroborates the defendant in his version of the facts. So you want as much evidence to support his version of the facts, seeing that the prosecution has the burden to overcome justification.

BURNETT: Paul, the prosecution, as you point out, you have sort of been impressed in the negative sense by sort of how they have failed in some ways. One thing that we have seen is the Judge admonished the prosecution several times and there was another heated exchange today. I mean, it's been almost daily. But let me play what happened today.


SCHROEDER: I am a little bit challenged when you say - is there something that I'm saying that draws the face that you're making? Go ahead say what you want to say.

BINGER: I have to say, Your Honor, yesterday, I was the target of your ire for disregarding your orders.


Today the defense is disregarding your order.

SCHROEDER: I was talking yesterday about the Constitution of the United States and how the Supreme Court has interpreted it for 50 years. That's not what we are talking about here today.


BURNETT: I mean, it's pretty incredible to watch some of this, Paul. And I want to note, when we're looking at some of these back and forths, so people understand, the jury has been outside the courtroom for some of these interactions but not all of them. And, you know, there has been tension between the Judge and the prosecution on display at times when the jury was in the room, according to our reporters. Do you think this could influence the verdict?

P MARTIN: Juries watch everything. They watch the judge, they watch the defendant, they watch the prosecution and this toxic banter back and forth, we really don't know how it will really impact the jury when they go back into that deliberation room. We look to the judge as an impartial decider of the facts. He is to decide the case being fair to both sides.

And when he lets loose with this attitude towards one side, it could give the impression to the jury that the case whoever that side is, has issues.

BURNETT: So Areva, what do you make of the Judge's clear Frustration with the prosecution?

A MARTIN: Yes. I think something else might be going on, Erin. And I think this prosecutor may be playing to the media, as you said, a lot of these exchanges take place outside of the purview of the jurors, but the cameras are in the courtroom. And I wonder if this prosecutor is telegraphing to the world that this judge has been unfair to the prosecution, because we know there's some media reports out there that the Judge is pro-defense and I just wonder by some of the comments if the prosecutor isn't in a slick way into that narrative.

BURNETT: Interesting. All right. Thank you both very much.

P MARTIN: Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: Obviously, it's going to be a crucial few days here.

A MARTIN: Thanks, Erin.

BURNETT: And next, we have breaking news of the January 6 Select Committee now threatening to hold Trump's former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in content if he doesn't appear for his deposition in hours. He's slated to be there in the morning.

Plus, Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz slamming members of his own party for voting for the bipartisan infrastructure bill.


REP. MATT GAETZ (D-FL): You see members of Congress sell out their vote, trade it for some roads and bridges and tunnels for some train stops, it's disgraceful.


BURNETT: I'll speak to a Republican congressman who voted for that bill.

And a capital rioter allegedly seen here attacking the police now wanted by the FBI after pleading to fleeing to Belarus. Tonight, he's speaking out.



BURNETT: Breaking news, the House Select Committee on January 6 threatening to hold former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in contempt if he doesn't appear tomorrow for a deposition and he doesn't turn over documents. The warning in a letter, quote, "Simply put, there's no valid legal basis for Mr. Meadows' continued resistance to the Select Committee's subpoena."

Now this is coming just hours after Meadows' lawyer said he would not cooperate with the committee until courts ruled on former President Trump's claim of executive privilege. Well, that could put this off for a little bit of time.

So Evan Perez is OUTFRONT. And Evan, I guess the bottom line is this appears to be a real standoff here between the Committee and Meadows. EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Right, Erin. The

inherent threat here from the committee is that if he doesn't appear tomorrow that they are going to go to the next step which could involve holding him in contempt and perhaps referring him to the Justice Department to be to be prosecuted for criminal contempt.

And so that's what the threat that this committee is now making after Meadows' attorney said today that essentially the current president, President Biden had violated norms by not shielding him, who he was obviously one of the closest aides to the former president using executive privilege. He said that these were norms that normally shield people like him.

And the word norms, of course, is something that made people laugh at the current White House because, of course, we remember the norms that were busted over the last four years in the former administration.

BURNETT: Well, it's interesting that Meadows wants to wait till there's a ruling on executive privilege, which is sort of happening in two ways. One, the waiting on Bannon, the DOJ, Garland hasn't made a decision. And two, these thousands of pages of documents that Trump is trying to block. It appeared to be going in the Committee's favor, but now a federal appeals court has granted Trump's, basically, 11th hour request right to pause the release of his White House documents to a Committee while this appeals process plays out, that involves this.

PEREZ: Right, exactly. And the appeals court today simply said, this is a temporary pause. But frankly, they're giving the Trump campaign, the Trump team even more time than they had requested. They've laid out a timeline that leads us to have briefing documents in the next couple of weeks and then oral arguments, Erin, on November 30th.

And I'll read you just a part of what this three-judge panel, two appointed by former President Obama and one appointed by President Biden. It reads in part, "The purpose of the administrative injunction is to protect the court's jurisdiction to address claims of executive privilege and should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits." What the judges are saying is that we're going to listen to this, but they're not yet saying that they're ruling on the merits.

Obviously, for the Committee, time is of the essence. They want these 700 pages, because this is important, they believe, to try to figure out what happened on January 6th and to try to prevent such another occurrence from happening again. And that's the reason why the current White House, the current president had waived executive privilege on these documents.

And as you pointed out, Meadows is now saying he's going to wait for all of this to shake out before he decides whether he's going to cooperate. You can bet by the way, Erin, that there are other witnesses who are going to do the same thing trying to run out the clock.

BURNETT: For sure, I mean, absolutely as you lay it out.

[19:20:00] All right. Evan, thank you very much.

So let's go to Shan Wu now, because he's a former federal prosecutor, who was also counsel to, at the time, Attorney General Janet Reno.

All right. Shan, good to have you on. Okay. So, first, let's just talk about the January 6 Committee. They want to go ahead and maybe move to try to slam Mark Meadows with contempt if he doesn't show up tomorrow and speak. And there's no indication that he's going to show up tomorrow and speak.

So do you think there's teeth to what they say, given that the DOJ hasn't yet said anything about going ahead with a charge on Bannon?

SHAN WU, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think there's teeth to what they say, Erin. They can't control what DOJ does. They can make a criminal referral and they should in this case or they could make the request for the civil referral, but that would be pretty slow going for them.

So I don't think they're going to consider whether the AG has acted yet. The important thing to remember, I think, we often forget is that he's got to show up. He can show up and assert privileges, but this idea that you can just sit back and say I'm not going to show up because I'm listening to the former president. That's obviously contempt of Congress, so they definitely should refer that.

BURNETT: Right. So he could show up and do as the former DOJ official Clark did and just basically saying nothing. I guess that's what we expect. So let me ask you at the appeals court, though, because, basically Meadows could be waiting for executive privilege to play out which plays out vis-a-vis Bannon and the DOJ, but it also plays out with this appeals court ruling.

There are some who thought that this would be a little easier for the committee that they wouldn't have to wait another few weeks or possibly even longer to get this information. Were you surprised by their decision today to sort of give this temporary, I don't want to use the word victory, but to stay in favor of Trump?

WU: I'm not too surprised. There's no way that Trump's legal team can like this panel of judges, I think they have to be worried about them.

BURNETT: Well, that's for sure. Yes.

WU: And I think it's a reasonable delay. They're saying we want to fully hear the arguments and I think it's been pretty well briefed already and addressed by the district court judge. But I would take their words at full face value. It's not at all an opinion on the merits, no matter what Trump's team tries to spin it as.

BURNETT: It's interesting. Trump hasn't said anything. We point out about these judges. He hasn't said anything about them. And he's never been shy about criticizing judges. Remember the Trump University lawsuit, the asylum ban lawsuits to overturn the 2020 election that he lost, he had things to say about all those judges. Let me just remind everybody. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've been treated very unfairly by this judge. Now, this judge is of Mexican heritage. I'm building a wall. Okay. I'm building a wall. I think he should recuse himself.

Every case that gets filed in the Ninth Circuit, we get beaten. This was an Obama judge. It's a disgrace what happens with the Ninth Circuit.

No judge has had the courage, including the Supreme Court, I am so disappointed in them.


BURNETT: All right. So when you look at what happened here, Judge Chutkan already ruled against Trump on executive privilege. And before that she had called the January 6th crowd a violent mob seeking to overthrow the lawfully elected government. So she had a point of view as an individual and then she ruled as a judge. Trump hasn't called her out, he hasn't called this panel of judges out. It's not like him. Why do you think it is?

WU: It's always hard to speculate as to what's going on inside of Trump's mind and I don't consider him to be much of a strategist. He's very impulsive as we all know. I just think it's a little bit off his radar screen for some reason. And most importantly, I think he really believes that he's got the Supreme Court in his pocket because of his ability to put on these conservative judges.

And he used to always talk about the court that way and he may be just feeling like once he gets there it's going to be taken care of for him. So maybe that's why he hasn't gone after the Judge yet, but ...

BURNETT: Pretty interesting and then they've not been ruling in favor, didn't rule in favor of his election challenges and certainly even on things like abortion, haven't indicated the conservative bent that many said they would. Thank you so much, Shan. I really appreciate your help.

WU: Sure thing. Good to see you.

BURNETT: And next top business leaders stepping up their criticism of Biden's handling of rising consumer prices. But just how bad is this problem? One of the world's leading experts on hyperinflation is next. We're really going to break this down.

Post Trump accused of conducting his own shadow diplomacy. Announcing he deployed what he calls his ambassador to address a serious situation overseas.


[19:28:46] BURNETT: New tonight, Biden's price surge problem. The dam is

breaking as CEOs are speaking out against Biden's insistence that the price surges are temporary. The CEO of one of the largest U.S. companies telling Politico, "I don't think the administration is on top of it at all. How many people inside this White House really know what inflation is or how it impacts businesses?"

Another economic leaders are now putting their names on their criticism. Here's Ken Griffin, the Head of Citadel, a huge financial trading firm.


KEN GRIFFIN, CEO, CITADEL: The theory that this is transitory is starting to get long in the tooth.


So is the price surge a price crisis that will erode American standard of living and America's economic prowess or not? In a minute, we're going to delve into this with an expert on hyperinflation. But first I want to go to one of the roots of the problem which is the ports. Nick Watt is OUTFRONT at the Port of Los Angeles. So Nick, there you are and you can see what's coming and going and what isn't, how is it?

NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'll start with why the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach are a big issue. Between them, they handle 40 percent of the containerized imports into this country. Now, normally pre-pandemic, there might be one ship waiting to get in, maybe no ships waiting to get in.


Today, there are 78, 78. And according to the maritime exchange, Tuesday was an all-time record high, 81. The port of Los Angeles also tells us there's now a 16-day wait for ships to get into the port. Pre-pandemic -- well, there really wasn't a wait.

There are also tens of thousands of containers stacked on the docks getting in the way, gumming up the process even more.

Now, why is this happening? Well, because now American consumers are clamoring for goods. Overseas manufacturers are putting them on ships, and this right here is the bottleneck.

Now, the Biden administration trumpeted last month this port would be operating 24 hours a day. In theory it is. In practice, it's really about 19 hours a day because there are only so many trucks, trains and drivers.

Now, on Monday the port might start imposing fines on people who leave containers on the dock for too long. They're also going to start a new queuing system. Ships are going to be given a ticket like you get in a deli based on when they left their last port, and they're going to have to wait 150 miles offshore for their turn to come and unload.

But, Erin, the only real solution people tell me to this problem, time -- Erin.

BURNETT: Time and, of course, time is the problem.

All right. Thanks so much, Nick Watt, at the port of Los Angeles.

I want to go to Steve Hanke. He's a professor of applied economics at the Johns Hopkins University and one of the world's leading experts on hyperinflation.

Professor, I know you've been following that in many places right now. But let me just give you a chance to set the stage. I think it's really important for people to understand the scope of the problem. How bad is the inflation situation in your view right now?

STEVE H. HANKE, PROF. OF APPLIED ECONOMICS, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERISTY: It's very bad. The Federal Reserve has made one of the largest mistakes it's made in the post-World War II era since the COVID crisis began. Erin, there are really three things to get a handle on, I think, that I'd like to stress.

One is that the so-called supply chain problems that Nick was reporting on earlier from Los Angeles. Those are not a cause of inflation. That is not an inflation problem. That causes relative prices of things that are in the glitch, shall we say, to go up relative to everything else but doesn't cause overall inflation.

The second point I'd like to stress is this is not a temporary phenomenon. So what is it? Inflation always and everywhere is a monetary phenomenon. Too much money. Now, the supply chain, just so your viewers get a handle on this --


HANKE: -- we have huge supply chain problems in China, Japan and Switzerland.

And in all those places, the inflation is less than 1 percent a year. Ours is 6.2 percent, the last reading we got in the United States. That's over three times higher than the feds' own inflation target.


HANKE: So how does it work? What's the money thing? The visual that I like to use is a bathtub. You've got money going in the bathtub and you've got two drains that come out of the money bathtub.

And one fuels the real economic activity and real growth and the second one is -- accommodates increases in the demand for money. Now, what's that mean? That means as you get richer, you put more money in your savings account. You put more money in your checking account.

You hold more cash, et cetera, et cetera. More money in the money market fund and so on. So if you take those two drains, they have been draining about a third of this huge amount of money that's gone into the tub out and we're left with two-thirds in the tub and that will eventually go in the overflow drain. And the overflow drain is the inflation drain. There's a lag of about

18 months to 24 months between the time the money goes in --

BURNETT: And that's why you say temporary isn't right. I think it's important as you've distinguished between what you see as the supply chain issue, which is real and serious but will resolve, and I think it's important you give those other countries as an example. Our rate is much higher and that's because in your view of monetary supply.

So when you keep talking about the money coming in, let me give people the scope of it. Under President Biden and President Trump, the U.S. government injected $3 trillion into the economy, right? That came in the form of unemployment benefits, right? Child tax credits, all sorts of things, right, and the stimulus.


But -- and this is really crucial because right now President Biden and the Democrats are saying that spending another at least $1.9 trillion will help alleviate inflation. Specifically they say the child tax credit and free child care, universal child care will alleviate inflation, not increase it. Let me play what they said.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: According to economists, this is going to ease inflation pressures, not increase it. Ease inflationary pressures by lowering costs for working families.

ROBERT REICH, FORMER U.S. LABOR SECRETARY UNDER CLINTON: Child care would also be a huge relief.

PETE BUTTIGIEG, TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: One of the other reasons why it's so important to get those child care provisions through is that's also going to help with inflation.


BURNETT: Is this $1.9 trillion bill going to help with inflation?

HANKE: This is utter rubbish what you've just played. Inflation is always a monetary phenomenon. It's how much money the Federal Reserve and the commercial banking system is creating. And they have got so much money excess in the monetary bathtub right now that no matter what they do, if they completely cut the spigot off and didn't put anything in, we'd still have a big inflation problem that will last through 2024.

We're up at around I predicted a year ago, we'd be at 6 percent by the end of this year. Well, it looks like we're going to be pretty close to that. And we'll have the same number next year and the same number the next year and probably pretty close to that the next year.

So we have a persistent inflation problem. And the problem really goes back to Chairman Powell. In February testimony, he had a back-and- forth with Senator Kennedy from Louisiana. At that point, Powell said the money supply doesn't make any difference. It's irrelevant what's going on with the money supply.

So it's incredible the chairman of the Central Bank making a statement like that is just irresponsible.

BURNETT: All right. Professor, I really appreciate your time. I appreciate your laying this out.

Obviously, the view is very sobering, even without spending anymore that we could have inflation well into 2024 at the levels that's at now we would be. Obviously, incredible painful for Americans.

Thank you so much, Professor Hanke, I appreciate your time and your perspective.

HANKE: Thank you.

BURNETT: And we're going to keep breaking this (AUDIO GAP) because it is so crucial.

And next, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell saying he will not be attending Biden's signing ceremony for the bipartisan infrastructure bill that he keeps touting, so why?

And the accused Capitol rioter that you see here has fled the United States and is now seeking asylum half a world away. We're there tonight and we'll take you live to Belarus.



BURNETT: New tonight, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell praising the passage of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and then saying he will not go to the White House on Monday when President Biden signs the bill.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): No, I've got other things I've got to do other than go to the signing ceremony. But this bill was basically written in the Senate with a bipartisan group of Republicans and Democrats. Nineteen Republicans voted for it, I was one of them. I think it was good for the country and I'm glad it passed.


BURNETT: It comes as the White House says members of Congress from both parties will attend the ceremony. Obviously not the GOP leader in the Senate, who voted for it, which is a pretty significant thing.

I want to go now to Republican Congressman Tom Reed of New York. He did vote for the infrastructure bill.

So, Congressman Reed, will you be attending the ceremony, and do you think that the Senate Republican leader, who voted for it, should?

REP. TOM REED (D-NY): Well, you know, obviously, if I'm invited, I would go to the White House. I have not been invited to go.

And as to the leader's response, I think that was appropriate. He's tied up in the district. We're home this week working in the district. And so I can respect that.

But I was glad to hear the leader reaffirm that this bill is good for America. That this was a good compromise bill and we should be celebrating these successes, not chastising them.

BURNETT: And that is -- and to your point in terms of the substance of it, he did do that. But that's not what all -- many of your party are not.

Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz speaking out and calling for retaliation against you and the 12 other House Republicans who voted for the infrastructure bill along with Democrats. He labeled you a, quote, turncoat and your peers, demanding that you be stripped of your leadership positions in Congress, accusing you of selling out your principles for your own financial gain. He laid it on pretty thick. Here he is.


REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): To see members of Congress sell out their vote, trade it for some roads and bridges and tunnels, for some train stops, it's disgraceful. They want to become lobbyists, and we've created a culture in the Republican Party where, hey, if you sell out on your way out, who can blame you.


BURNETT: Your office says you've received, quote, aggressive calls following your vote. Other Republicans have gotten death threats. And yet you got people like Congressman Gaetz going out and saying you sold out your vote, disgraceful sellout.

What do you say to him and others like him in your party?

REED: Well, obviously I disagree with him. I am adamantly opposed to that kind of rhetoric. That's just not even close to why we voted for this bill. We voted for this bill because it was the right thing to do for America's future.

We did this in strong negotiations in the Senate and the housework, working to a compromise common ground. The ultimate product was based on compromise.

So it wasn't about selling out a vote, it's about doing what's right for the American people. I will tell you most American people, the silent majority is awakening and saying, you know what, enough is enough. I'm a proud Republican. There's proud Democrats that I work with on the other side.

But we have to stop this division. When we can find common ground, take it, celebrate the win and move on.

BURNETT: All right. So, I want to ask you about something that happened today.


I don't know if you saw this. But the former President Trump put out a statement, the office of the 45th president and everything on the top saying that he is essentially conducting his own shadow foreign policy. So the letterhead goes out, 45th president of the United States of America and I wanted to read you a line, just blow it up so our viewers can see it.

Today, my envoy ambassador, Ric Grenell, visited the Kosovo-Serbia border to highlight this agreement.

OK, the word envoy in capital, ambassador capital, my envoy ambassador. He's not the president of the United States but he's got an envoy ambassador trying to conduct foreign policy? I saw this and sort of said, wow. What do you think?

REED: Yeah, obviously, I think it's wiser for our former presidents not to engage in foreign affairs and represent the nation in that capacity. We saw that when we had President Obama and others with his administration going out and speaking on behalf of the nation in regards to that activity.

So, it's not to me the wise move to make and I would encourage the former president to be able to express his opinion, but don't represent the United States in foreign affairs policies in particular.

BURNETT: It certainly would be against everything this country stands for, against the Constitution.

Thank you very much. I appreciate your time, Congressman Reed. Thank you.

REED: It's good to be with you. Thanks, Erin.

BURNETT: And next, an American facing criminal charges for his role in the January 6th insurrection. He's now seeking asylum in Belarus and speaking out. We'll take you there next.

Plus, the SpaceX capsule successfully docking with the international space station this hour. We're now standing by, they're inside, they're there, they're safe. We're just waiting for that hatch to open.



BURNETT: Tonight, a California man wanted by the FBI for his alleged role in the January 6th insurrection, we find out has fled the United States and has gone to the former Soviet republic of Belarus and is seeking asylum there. His name is Evan Neumann. He's being charged with violent entry and disorderly conduct on the capitol grounds. And he spoke out on state television in Belarus today.

Matthew Chance is in Minsk, Belarus, tonight.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: For America's critics, the January 6th riot at the U.S. capitol was already a propaganda coup, casting the nation as chaotic and violent.

But the bizarre appearance of Evan Neumann, an accused Capitol rioter from California, seeking asylum in Belarus, one of the world's most authoritarian dictatorships, is more than the regime here could have hoped for.

This is the heavily promoted news special dubbed "Goodbye America" on Belarusian state TV.

The U.S. is now settling scores, the anchor says, with opponents of the U.S. regime. So Neumann had to flee the country or face prison and torture for simply taking part in protests, she falsely claims. We're then shown Neumann himself being interviewed about how he got here, apparently by crossing the border illegally through snake-infested swamps. And, of course, why he came.

He speaks English but he's voiced over in Russian, so it's hard to hear his actual words.

EVAN NEUMANN, JAN. 6 RIOTER: They released a picture of me.


CHANCE: He says his photo was put on an FBI wanted list. That's true. But his next claim isn't.

NEUMANN: What happened to other people there --


CHANCE: What do you think they do with people like me, he asks. They're kept in solitary confinement for eight months at a time and beaten. Torture is a common thing, he explains to the Belarusian reporter. Torture is of course illegal in the United States.

What is true is that Neumann faces multiple criminal charges in the U.S. for his alleged role in the January 6th insurrection.

Prosecutors say he taunted and screamed at police before donning a gas mask and threatening officers. According to court papers, police body camera footage showed Neumann pushing a metal barricade into a police line before punching two officers with his fist.

NEUMANN: I didn't decide to --


CHANCE: He doesn't even deny taking part.

NEUMANN: And we were invited to come in. But we were there because -- CHANCE: On January the 6th, Congress voted to approve the election of

Joe Biden and to recognize him as winner, Neumann explains. There were many of us who came out to say we're against it. The police fired tear gas at us. At one point I was hit with a police baton, he alleges, and sprayed with pepper spray.

We can't verify those claims.

NEUMANN: Different people had different reasons --

CHANCE: But it's that kind of misleading testimony alleging police violence in the U.S. that's having such an impact in Belarus. People here are no strangers to strong-armed security forces. Since fraudulent presidential elections last year there's been a brutal crackdown on opposition supporters, with thousands beaten and imprisoned.

NEUMANN: The leaders say this is a terrorist event or something like that.

CHANCE: Now the Belarusian regime has a U.S. citizen falsely casting America as exactly the same.


CHANCE (on camera): Well, Erin, tonight, there's still been no consular contact with Evan Neumann. He hasn't reached out to them. We understand they haven't reached out to him either.


What U.S. diplomats have been doing is pushing back hard on any of those comparisons between Belarus and the United States. U.S. citizens say the statement from the embassy here depend on a good court system. The Belarusians have got nothing like that at all.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Matthew Chance. Pretty incredible. Incredible allegations just being put out there of course as if they're factual.

OUTFRONT next, incredible images tonight from 254 miles above Earth. The SpaceX capsule docking with the International Space Station, and that we're lucky because they're about to open the hatch.


BURNETT: Tonight, pictures from the International Space Station where the hatch to the SpaceX Dragon capsule is about to open. NASA says we're literally just minutes away. They're in the final checks. We're going to see the hatch open, astronauts get out.

There are four of them. Three American astronauts including a former submarine warfare officer in Kayla Jane Barron. And one German astronaut. They're going to spend the next six months on the ISS.

They've just spent 21-1/2 hours in that little tiny capsule. So the next six months will be very spacious. They traveled at 17,500 miles an hour to get there in 21 hours. They reported no issues while the capsule docked automatically. The SpaceX success marking a significant milestone, the rocket carried the 600th person to space in 60 years.

Thanks for joining us.

Anderson starts now.